The good, bad, and ugly podcasting lessons from the 9th Podcast Awards

Learn more about what podcasters should and shouldn't be doing based on the review and grading process for the Podcast Awards.

What are podcasters doing right and wrong?

Part of the Podcast Awards process for selecting the finalists involve grading each podcast on a variety of criteria. These percentages are based on the more than 4,400 nominated podcasts.

The good stuff

  • Only 7% have nonbranded sites like,, or similar generic pages
  • 83% have a findable iTunes link
  • 95% have their own .com
  • 92% are using WordPress
  • 71% publish only audio
  • 15% publish only video
  • 32% are blogging as well as podcasting
  • 29% are creating audio, video, and blog posts
  • Shows releasing video, audio, and blog content grow 42% faster than shows that do just audio or just video
  • 26% are mobile-friendly
  • 68% have a Twitter link
  • 77% have a Facebook link
  • 56% have a Google+ page
  • 23% have a Stitcher logo/link
  • Only 31% are still using FeedBurner, down from 71%
  • 51% publish episodes weekly
    • Shows publishing less frequency than once per week grow 69% slower than weekly shows.
  • 44% publish more than once per week

The bad stuff

  • 44% do not have way to play or download the episode on the home page
  • 22% of video podcasters do not have video embeds for their audience
  • 21% have an RSS icon on their default landing page that was podcast-ready
  • 23% have a podcast RSS feed buried on a subpage of their website
  • 7% have a visible contact email on their site
  • 12% have a newsletter sign-up page
  • 15% have a call-in number or widget

The ugly stuff

  • 37% make you dig to find their podcast!
  • 80% of video podcasters do not have an RSS feed or iTunes listing! They were using YouTube
  • 23% have invalid podcast RSS feeds (SoundCloud and third-party RSS providers were the biggest culprits)
  • 56% do not have an findable RSS feed on their site
  • 82% have less than one paragraph of show notes for their past five podcast episodes!

Interesting podcast statistics

Blubrry tracks more than 17,000 podcasts. Of all of this data, they discovered the following information.

  • Audiences were 79% from the USA, 10% from Canada, 9% from the UK
  • iTunes accounts for 67% across all devices
  • Browsers were the biggest share, but the number wasn't shared
  • Set-top boxes account for only 8%
  • Only 1% were using third-party apps (such as those made for the specific podcast or network)
  • Tracked 100 different clients (devices)
  • 126 countries with at least 10 downloads

Why wasn't your podcast a finalist?

The voting slate is chosen from more than just the number of nominations. All of the above information is taken into consideration to grade each podcast.

Was it eligible?

  • Sites that have won People's Choice or Best Produced in the years 2011–2012 are not eligible to win People's Choice and Best Produced
  • Sites that have won People's Choice or Best Produced in 2012 are not elgible to win in any category
  • Podcasting actively on or before January 1, 2013. This will be verified by reviewing the podcasters website
  • Have created a minimum of ten episodes before October 1, 2013
  • A visible Podcast RSS feed on the podcasters site with enclosures

How does it grade?

Each eligible podcast is graded according to a confidential scale. The general weight of each category is as follows.

  • 40% from number of nominations
  • 20% from relevance of content
  • 15% from website design quality
  • 15% from sound quality
  • 10% from podcast delivery and show format quality

When the numbers get tight, then it really comes down to the fine details of what podcasts make it onto the voting slate. Our Once Upon a Time podcast did not make it into the Entertainment category, but we did make it into Best Produced.

Podcast Awards information

This is the ninth annual International Podcast Awards! They still need donations and sponsorships. It's a great opportunity to promote your podcast to thousands for only $250.

There were 4,400 shows nominated for the awards.

If you were a past award-finalist, you can order a Nominee Trophy for $200, or a bigger trophy for Best Produced and People's Choice for $365.

The awards ceremony will be held Sunday night, January 5, at New Media Expo. I'll be there and I hope to see you, too! If you'd like to attend the full conference, use my promo code “DANIEL20” to save 20%. There may be a special low-cost ticket if you just want to attend the awards ceremony.

If you're a finalist, make sure you registered your podcast so you'll receive email announcements.

Need personalized podcasting help?

I no longer offer one-on-one consulting outside of Podcasters' Society, but request a consultant here and I'll connect you with someone I trust to help you launch or improve your podcast.

Ask your questions or share your feedback

  • Comment on the shownotes
  • Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221
  • Email (audio files welcome)

Connect with me


This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
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Segovia Smith
Segovia Smith
10 years ago

Hey Daniel, nice work. I took screen shots of each frame of his video as Todd rattled off all his stats, then I noted them all in my Evernote where I could use them as a check list for things to use as a way to always improve our own site.

Then, several hours later, I thought, you know since I took the time to write all this out, I should send it over to Daniel as he’ll likely be using it for one of his podcast episodes as you did last year. Well, wasn’t I surprised (not really) to find that you had already released the episode and had a published list of them. Wish I found that before I did all the hard work myself. lol 🙂

Anyhow, I’d love to catch up with you on a few ideas I have about promoting and winning another award this year! DM me @SegoviaSmith on Twitter.

PS. Congrats on making the slate in what seems to be nearly every category you were going after!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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